Agecroft Hall: Discover 17th Century England in Richmond

From Elizabethan England, to the banks of the James. Built in England about 500 years ago, Agecroft Hall now overlooks Virginia's James River.


A landmark of history, framed in beauty. Agecroft's Elizabethan knot garden.


England's past. Crated, shipped, and carefully reassembled in Richmond, Virginia.

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School Programs

Flora and Fauna 

(Grades:  PreK to 2)

History SOLs:         K.2, K.7, 1.1 and 1.6 

Length:                    1 hour and 45 minutes

Maximum #:           90 participants

How did people use plants and animals over 400 years ago in England? How was life different back then? How was it the same?  Students examine each room in the museum for evidence of the use of plants and animals for such necessities as food, shelter, and clothing, as well as in decorative motifs and luxury items.  Touch baskets located in several rooms provide hands-on experiences.  Students conclude their visit by either creating their own “tapestry,” or taking part in  a seek-and-find activity outside in the gardens.  The seek-and-find activity supports SOLs K.3, K.4, and K.5.

Voyage to Virginia

(Grades: 3 - 5)

History SOLs:         VS.1, VS.2, VS.3, VS.4

Partnership:             Joint program with Henricus Historical Park

Length:                    5 hours (includes lunch & travel time) or 4 ½ hours (if groups eats on bus)

NOTE: This program can be spread over two days (2-hour program at Agecroft Hall and 1 ½ hour program at Henricus Historical Park)

Maximum #:           90 participants (60 or fewer works best for this hands-on program)

Students begin their adventure at Agecroft Hall where they are “hired” as new servants for the household.  Students will discover what their lives might have been like through an introductory slide presentation, a museum tour focusing on what their responsibilities would be in the house, and an opportunity to try their hand at an activity related to their position, before deciding to sign an indenture to try their luck in the “New World”.  At the Citie of Henricus, students will engage in hands-on activities to discover what their lives might have been like as indentured servants in the Colony of Virginia – from military drills to bartering with the Native Americans.

Life on the Manor

(Grades:  4 to 12)

History SOLs:         WHII.1, WHII.2, and WHII.3

Length:                    2 ½ hours

Maximum #:           180 participants

Running a large manor house like Agecroft Hall in seventeenth-century England required many helping hands.  Students are introduced to the lifestyles of the servants and gentry through several activities including:  the slide presentation “A Day at Agecroft,” which depicts costumed interpreters engaged in daily and seasonal seventeenth-century activities; a guided tour of the museum; handling reproduction sixteenth- and seventeenth-century objects; and playing outdoor seventeenth-century lawn games.  In inclement weather, students remain indoors for hands-on activities such as creating an herbal sachet or playing a popular board game of the time called merels.

Shakespeare at Agecroft 

(Grades:  9 to 12)

History SOLs:         WHII.1

English SOLs:         10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 11.6, 12.3 and 12.6

Length:                    2 ½ hours

Maximum #:           50 participants

How would Shakespeare have staged his works?  How might the audience have responded to his plays in Elizabethan England? Agecroft Hall offers students the rare opportunity to study Shakespeare in a setting contemporary with his life.  This program “sets the scene” by beginning with a tour of the museum, followed by a discussion of Elizabethan entertainment, theaters, actors, and audiences.  Thematic and historical issues important to the selected scene are also discussed.  Then it’s “show-time,” as students become the actors, technicians and audience members for the staging of a Shakespearean scene.  Teachers choose in advance from among the following: Macbeth IV.i,  Romeo and Juliet II.iv, and Hamlet III.iii-iv.